The inaugural Women's International Match Racing Series got underway today with the first event in St Quay-Portrieux, France. Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain summed up seven straight victories, shining alone undefeated at the top of the scoreboard. But her day wasn't at all as relaxed as the results may imply; 'No, we had a few close matches, also coming from behind,' she comments.
One of them was the last match of the day, against fellow London Olympian Anna Kjellberg of Sweden, 'We started very badly in that match, and were left behind for a while. But good upwind speed got us back into the match, and on the last downwind leg we managed to do a couple of excellent gybes to get ahead of Anna and her crew,' Macgregor says.
'We made a great start but then some things got stuck in the boat on the first downwind, slowing us down. And on the last leg we didn't observe a major wind shift coming, when at the same time making a few bad gybes. Of course Lucy took the advantage of that,' Anna explains, not too disappointed with her 2 - 5 score and eighth place so far.
Veteran Klaartje Zuiderbaan of The Netherlands is back in match racing after a few years break as a successful Paralympics coach (gold in London), now leading her international crew from France, Slovenia and Great Britain to second place so far in Saint Quay, with a 6 - 2 score:
'I'm so happy to be here! Today we really learned how to work together in the boat,' she smiles.
In her match against young Stephanie Roble, both boats got penalized in the prestart. After a close match almost all the way around the course, Zuiderbaan managed to leave the American crew behind at the last top mark, 'My brain can still recall a few useful tricks,' she admits, smiling again.
Stephanie Roble and her experienced crew from Chicago Match Race Center missed a plane and came in late to the event, without any time to do their practise session before racing. In their first match of the day they crossed the starting line too early, and had to turn back for a proper start:
'We clearly underestimated the current that pushed us over the line,' Roble comments, happy with their 5 - 2 score and third place so far in the regatta.
Event standings after the first day of racing in Saint Quay Women's Match Racing, the first event of the inaugural 2013 Women's Match Racing Series.
Womens International Match Racing Series website
by Joakim Hermansson
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9:02 PM Thu 16 May 2013GMT
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